Confirmed: Rob Holding fit to play again

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Arsenal have confirmed that Rob Holding is fit to return to first team action having fully recovered from the ACL injury he sustained in November.

The centre-back started training with the ball earlier in the summer and has since featured for the club’s under-23s on a number of occasions.

While it seems unlikely that he’ll start against Watford at the weekend, he’ll now compete with Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi to be back-up to current first choice duo Sokratis and David Luiz.

Arsenal’s latest medical bulletin also confirms that Hector Bellerin (knee), Kieran Tierney (groin) and Dinos Mavropanos (groin) are on the mend and hoping to resume first team training this month.

With players still returning from international duty, it’s likely that there could be a further update in the next couple of days.

Granit Xhaka revealed this week that he’s been struggling with an Achilles problem, Joe Willock withdrew from England under-21 duty with a calf problem and Lucas Torreira wasn’t in the Uruguay squad that faced the USA last night due to a muscular problem.

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lordMartynz
lordMartynz

Tbh I would pick Holding ahead of any of our center backs…. Saliba and Holding would be rock solid for so many years to come…

Red Arrow
Red Arrow

Don’t jinx it!! Poor guy has only just recovered.

lordMartynz
lordMartynz

I get, I am actually not saying he should be played right away, but when fit, with his display before the injury, he is by far our best centre back

Hantal
Hantal

Him and sok were working well together before, though I want to see more of chambers too

Neil
Neil

I don’t know why Chambers doesn’t get the minutes. He did an excellent job as DM for Fulham and I think he could do the job in a back 3 or 4. He’s less prone to mistakes than Luiz, to be honest.

Obama Young

Our only clean sheet so far came with Chambers playing 90 minutes of soild, panic-free football. He hasn’t played a second since. He deserves more chances.

mrugunner
mrugunner

“I don’t know why Chambers doesn’t get the minutes.”
the coach…

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Unai probably wanted to pick Socratis and Luiz for the two top 6 games (and give them a game together before)

Man Manny
Man Manny

Generally speaking, Arsenal has a crop of 25 year olds and below to be excited about.
If they all keep developing and bonding at this pace, we will be genuine title contenders in three seasons…or less.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You don’t even know anything about Saliba.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

Small steps now to premier league level match fitness and intensity. Would be interesting what our CB pairings will start to look like

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

Let’s hope he’s coming back with his cool head and brilliant defensive trekkers. He makes the life easy for guendozi and is excellent at 1v1s. Stoked

GoonerUpNorth
GoonerUpNorth

He’s better than Cannevaro.

Dom47
Dom47

You mean Cannavaro? Legendary Italian defender? Why do you say that?

goonero
goonero

It’s his song mate:

“Oh oh oh Rob Holding, you know … he’s better than Cannavaro”.

Also it’s factually accurate too, you know cos it rhymes.

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

Because he’s better than canavaro can’t u read pal

Richie

Caravano is 46 years old on Friday, so yes Holding is currently better than him.

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

No, he’s NOT better than the legendary Italian.!!!!

Santori
Santori

Yay! Great news.

I’m not going to put too much expectations on him though….we saw him mainly in a back 3, but the (unsurprising) way Sideshowbob has started, more than pleased to have an alternative option.

Also given gaffer doesn’t seem to fully trust Chambers (I believe its an issue with positioning, a welcome LANS.

I think we can work out midfield without Torreira and Granit with Willock-GUendouzi-Cebellos providing a rotating 3 fidget spinner approach against Watford.

BUT the backline really needs to take more formal shape and we need a stable pair. Whoever is next to Sokratis IMO should play as much as possible to form sufficient intuition.

The other thing with Holding is his height may come into good play given we have lost a bit of the aerial authority without Mustafi. Last match, Leno correctly came out to claim balls coming into the box from set pieces more.

BUT we will need the added height and power (maybe even against Watcford with Welbeck and Deeney) particularly in absence of Granit in midfield.

The Swiss cleared 8 balls off the midway line (against Spurts)so we will need a different approach against Watford but the cover height wise at the back with Holding also helpful against set pieces.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Good analysis from Santori as usual…oops, this time.

atom
atom

you do realize that Luiz is 6’2″ – the exact same height as Holding and 2″ taller than Mustafi who is actually our shortest CB.

Richie

What is LANS? Yes I did try and Google and the only results are about local area networks.

Typical tantrum
Typical tantrum

Like a new signing

Runzac
Runzac

Where have you been?

Uhtred
Uhtred

As my 12 year old would say…’we’ve got a noob’

ramgooner
ramgooner

I hope we see Chambers at CDM.

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

Better than xhaka on any day

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

nonesense.

Emyrates
Emyrates

I hope we see Maitland niles at CDM… not chambers.

My Cousin Vinai
My Cousin Vinai

I’m not sure I agree with blogs on the assumption that Sok and Luiz are automatic starters.
I think Sokratis in particular is at risk. I think his level is still questionable and I’m not convinced he and Luiz are a great fit; they’re both too front-footed as seen against Spurs.

Holding when fit, plays left side allowing Luiz to be on the right, plays more as a sweeper allowing Luiz to run forward, is technically almost as good as Luiz on the ball and better than Sokratis I suspect he provides s better balance.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Anybody who thinks Holding is going to be our defensive saviour is mistaken. Rob is a decent centre- half but no more. We still need ho go out and buy big to cover that position. In the meantime he and Sokratis should be the centre-back paring. Sideshow Bob should only play in midfield.

A Different George
A Different George

It’s rare for me to agree with Fatgooner (because he is almost always wrong about everything). Rob Holding may develop into a top-level centre half, but he isn’t there yet, by a long shot. Supporters everywhere almost inevitably tend to overrate local players, but the English media help bring it to a new level. We can all see how ridiculously over-hyped players from other teams are (Trippier, Dier) and we should not fall into this same trip for our own players.

A Different George
A Different George

Trap. Though trip is fine too.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Crap.

goonero
goonero

The amount Holding has improved in his absence through injury is almost the amount Chambers declined while on loan.

They’re both good young players with everything to prove, I think both deserve a chance to show what they can do. The bar as it’s been set by our senior CBs is very, very fucking low, those starting births should very much be up for grabs.

Lack of Perspective
Lack of Perspective

Holding was playing like a solid, reliable and mature CB for a good chunk of time before his injury.

Misery guts’ oppinion on the mattsr son’t change a thing.

Eternal doom and gloom.

goonero
goonero

Regardless of how well he played (and let’s not you and I pretend he was picture perfect), he played 10 league games last season. 16 all campaign, and we kept maybe 1 -3 clean sheets in those games. That’s less than a third of our campaign. If you look back at Chambers after that many games people thought he was the second coming of Adams himself, look back a bit further and Senderos had the same narrative, further still and you’d remember the chatter surrounding Matty Upson.

You get people still questioning Aubameyangs goal scoring proficiency, with his record at his age. I think it’s pretty well within reason to question if Holding can deliver consistently at a level that makes him a marked improvement on the likes of Luiz and Sokratis.

I like people being excited about him, but this absence makes the heart grow fonder or whatever it is that’s happened where he’s suddenly morphed into a world class CB while recuperating from a devastating injury is beyond silly.

The lad has yet to play a full campaign of professional football, at any level, at 23. Just maybe we allow him that before we start endorsing him for captain maybe?

Lack of Perspective
Lack of Perspective

Does not change the fact that he was playing well before he got injured. Could at least pretend to be positive about something instead of whinging. Constantly

TheNicolau15
TheNicolau15

By the current standards, if Holding or Chambers came to reach the same level of Upson in their careers, it would be one hell of a deal

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

I agree with this. Arsenal players are perceived to get better while out injured by the fandom. Something I never understood.
Holding & Hector are prime examples.

Arseluvr
Arseluvr

Agree. He had a few decent games last year where he did not directly contribute to any major catastrophes, and all of a sudden he is the savior. He needs to be worked back in slowly or he will collapse mentally under the expectations created by those who think he is Van Dijk. Same goes for Tierny. He hasn’t played a game yet, yet he is the starting left back for the next 10 years. Give it a break. Let’s not undermine our own developing players by talking them up into the stratosphere of bullshit. Chambers hasn’t played lately because he is nowhere near capable of defending against Salah or Kane, so lets squash that nonsense too.

heknockedoutjohnterry
heknockedoutjohnterry

ALL HAIL DEFENSIVE SAVIOUR

Pepe Le Piaow
Pepe Le Piaow

I really hope that the fans give him time and don’t get on his back if he looks a little rusty. I remember Kos looking a bit shit when he came back last season and a lot of fans were saying he was past it and his career was over.

Hopefully we’re looking at a future captain in Holding.

lovely_arse
lovely_arse

Welcome back, sir. We need your measured head back there.

Sagebrush Farm
Sagebrush Farm

Rob was outstanding prior to that injury

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

He was alright, he wasn’t outstanding. I remember a couple of silly decisions leading to goals, a Xhaka’esq handball for a penalty… Let’s just see how he comes back after a lengthy injury but I’d be surprised if he’s first choice before Xmas.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

Compete for a back up spot? He is heads and shoulders the best center defender at the club!

Santori
Santori

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal/arsene-wenger-trusted-his-arsenal-players-and-we-let-him-down-admits-per-mertesacker-a4232901.html

Per reminds us he held the line with Holding on Chelsea for that famous FA cup victory. In part, it was Wenger’s faith in his players which was ulitmately both a strength and his downfall.

A Different George
A Different George

When I watched that match live, I thought both Mertesacker and Holding were amazing, the latter winding up Diego Costa and putting him in his pocket. Re-watching, a bit more calmly, I thought Holding had great spirit, worked hard, and had a lot of trouble with Costa–and that Mertesacker bailed him out repeatedly (all but once).

So, my reassessment: Holding had a decent though difficult game against a quality (if despicable) striker; Mertesacker had one of the greatest defensive performances in an important match that I have ever seen.

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

How about Holding Chambers as a CB pairing with Luiz and Sokratis as back ups? 🙂 and Mustafi sold by Jan window hopefully, Saliba comes back nexts season.

North Bank Gooner
North Bank Gooner

Welcome back Rob, some much needed reinforcement in defence.

Three Steps Sideways
Three Steps Sideways

Oh still, my beating heart !

goonero
goonero

Holding Chambers or we riot!

Anthony
Anthony

I hope I am not alone in hoping for a back four in a line up thst consists of:

Leno

Tierney Chambers Holding Bellerin

Torreira Guendouzi

Pepe Willock/Ozil Aubameyang

Lacazette

Tapps

No Ceballos?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Replace Willock/Ozil with Ceballos and Chambers with Luiz and I’m in! 🙂

Nketibag
Nketibag

As much as I like your lineup, there are many other factors in football such as seniority, leadership and physical presence. Unfortunately I’m not sure this team has it, which in a nutshell is why Emery continues to play Xhaka despite his mistakes.

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

NO OZIL.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

The lad has bulked up a bit

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

we’ll hopefully see him start Frankfurt away or Villa at home

BigArse
BigArse

I’d like to see him start with Chambo in the Europa and then, if all goes well, give them a run in the Premier League. I really think we might have a decent pairing there.

A Different George
A Different George

Doesn’t Chambo play for Liverpool now?

MikeAntony
MikeAntony

Suggested Line Up Against Watford:

Leno
Holding

Torreira Xhaka
Nelson Dani Ozil Saka
Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang

Richie

If Holding is playing, we don’t need a goalkeeper.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Haha…

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

And of course defensive midfielders would also be surplus to demands…:-)

TOGooner
TOGooner

Oh the classic martini glass formation, how interesting.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Great news, not just for us but England as well. I’m sure Southgate will be very interested in his progress after that shambolic defensive display last night!

Martin
Martin

Why the thumbs down. Having watched Maguire last night I can’t see why a fit Holding isn’t better

shaka
shaka

sokratis is an ass. luiz is an ass. kolasinac is an ass. Monreal and Kos have left.

Its only Chambers and Holding that can save the season from Bummery and his idiocies.

mrugunner
mrugunner

he’ll show that whoever is in defence, we’ll still struggle and the problem is with the (weak defensive) coaching.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

mrugunner I would like to see your report on Arsenal’s defensive training – I assume you have studied it??

mrugunner
mrugunner

paul look at emery’s defensive stats.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Look at the defence he’s had! 😄

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

An update on the official site:
“All players who were on international duty will have returned to us by Thursday morning. No international players have reported injuries during this period.
However, all international players will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s match.”

bob
bob

Let’s ease the lad back into the first team slowly, and give him some leeway! He’s young and coming back from a huge injury, so let’s give him our support and not crucify him when he makes the inevitable mistake.

As supporters we can help give him the confidence to be a solid CB for us for the next decade, if we don’t break him down when his form dips. Let’s go Holdini!

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts
Pepe Le Pew
Pepe Le Pew

He is better than Cannavaro!

Ozenal
Ozenal

Holdings distribution is what Emery likes the most. If he could pair Luiz and Holding he probably would.

His favourite tactics are all based on making space further upfield by inviting the high press and then breaking the press with direct actions towards opposition goal

Ozenal
Ozenal

No midfielders? Chambers at DM?

Kurt Sloan
Kurt Sloan

With Holding back, I like to see Luiz in midfield, whether its DM or CM. For me hes never a center back.